Hello, my fellow survivors. Welcome to the second part of my walkthrough for the remastered version of "The Last of Us".
In this series, I am demonstrating how to complete "The Last of Us" on Grounded difficulty, without sustaining any avoidable (unscripted) damage, and with a bare minimum of supplies. In other words, this my walkthrough is a complete opposite of a thorough trophy guide. There are a few rules I follow:
- Damage is limited to unavoidable scripted damage (e.g. one that Joel sustains because of the explosion at the check point).
- Healing is limited to unavoidable scripted healing (e.g. when Joel is forced to use a Health Kit after the Fireflies attack).
- Weapon and skill upgrades with parts and supplements are not allowed.
- Crafting is limited to the supplies given automatically by the game (e.g. a bomb in Bill's Town).
- Items are limited to bricks, bottles.
- Collectibles are limited to those required by the game (e.g. the warehouse key in the Slums).
- Weapons and ammunition, unless given by the game, can only be taken from defeated enemies.
I hope to demystify the Grounded difficulty and show, that it is actually very playable. Personally, I think "The Last of Us" often persuades the player towards a difficult approach when an easier one is at hand. Having said that, I am not going to fully comply with the game's instructions and suggestions. Most of my tactics can be applied to other levels right away. Given our conservative approach to damage and use of supplies, the only difference between Grounded and other difficulties lies in the AI of our enemies. They do have more acute hearing, better vision and more accurate aiming, but I don’t think it’s that significant. It just raises tension which in my opinion impairs player’s perception of the whole play, cuts down confidence to the level of… well, the ground, and ultimately distracts from primary objectives. It’s how the game plays with the player, or how the hunter becomes the hunted, if you will.
The second chapter of the game, titled The Quarantine Zone introduces us to more advanced game mechanics. It is designed to teach us a little bit about stealth techniques and other combat tactics.
20 Years Later
Because of the explosion at the checkpoint, Joel takes 33 points of damage. It is scripted damage and there is no way to avoid it. We're forced to use a Health Kit and regain full health before we can continue.
Beyond The Wall
The first significant encounter of this section is when we meet the man with a broken mask. We don't necessarily have to kill him. Personally, I don't like leaving him suffering in despair. I use one pistol bullet to kill him. As far as the game statistics go, it counts as a shot fired and a shot hit, but does not count as a kill. Next, I sneak by the three infected very, very slowly. If you have trouble controlling the speed, use this simple trick: while aiming, Joel moves very slowly, regardless of how hard you push the analogue stick. Stay low, keep moving slowly. Otherwise the infected will detect you immediately and you’ll have to fight all three of them at once.
In the first combat encounter, we need to take down the two remaining gunmen. This is required to activate the end point. If alone, Joel would need a single hit in the head or a double hit in the body to kill just one. But we’re fortunate to have Tess, who is a reliable shooter. She needs ten hits to take them down, five each. It won’t take long if we use Joel as a decoy. In the second combat encounter, we need to take down four enemies. The last man down drops a key. We need the key to open the door to the next section. Tess kills the first one. We can strangulate the other one. We don’t even need to sneak up on him. Humans happen to have much worse hearing than the infected. When we sneak peek through the window, the two men inside start a conversation. After a few seconds they turn back, and we can strangulate the man near us. Tess will kill the other one. In the third combat encounter, we need to take down five men. We can break stealth here, use Joel as a decoy and rely on Tess' shooting proficiency, but it's going to be RNG-heavy. I prefer consistent tactics of killing all the enemies myself in certain order. Mind the timing here. We can avoid combat at the wharf. As there is no way to sneak past the last two guards unnoticed, I punch one to confuse them. Also, breaking stealth will let Joel sprint towards the Robert's office. As soon as we reach the second door on the left, Tess will close the door behind us and we’re safe.
The section with the soldiers is somewhat similar to the wharf: we sneak, break stealth and start running, soldiers start shooting at us, we reach the exit and close the door behind us.
- we've completed 15% of the game,
- we took 33 points of damage and regained full health after using a Health Kit; both damage and healing were scripted and there was no way to avoid it,
- we’ve used one pistol bullet to kill the infected man with a broken mask; it counts as a shot fired and a hit, but not as a kill,
- we’ve picked up one pistol bullet from a defeated enemy; we have four in our clip,
- we’ve logged seven melee kills
How would you play this chapter? Would you rather gun down the man with a broken mask or save the bullet for future emergency needs? Perhaps, you’ve found a way to involve Tess into combat in the warehouse, and got consistent results? Please, do share your experience and ideas in the comments section. Any feedback of yours is always greatly appreciated. Thank you very much for watching, and I’ll see you on The Outskirts. Endure and survive!